For me, I can’t help but feel a deep sense of sadness as I gaze upon these once-vibrant homes, now slowly succumbing to time and neglect. In these moments, I find myself daydreaming about the incredible transformation that could take place, breathing new life into these forgotten relics.
Now, I have the opportunity to embark on this very journey. I stand before one of those timeworn, deteriorating farmhouses, the kind that most folks would promptly dismiss, urging its demolition and the construction of something entirely new. That would be the common thinking In today’s disposable culture.
Yet, that’s not how I see it.
This house was crafted by my Great Grandparents, who raised 14 children here, including my grandfather. When I was a child, visiting with my grandma and dad, I’d lay on the couch and envision the house’s revival. As the years passed, that vision grew, and now, almost three decades later, the time has come.
The house stands in a state of disrepair, with a shifting foundation, holes, leaks, broken windows, and a lengthy list of woes. While many might find it daunting, I’m ready to take on the challenge.
The house’s history is undeniable, and its character persists through old wooden walls and aging plaster. Despite the work that lies ahead, I’m convinced that with the right upgrades and updates, it will endure for generations to come.
So, wanna walk around the house and see just what we are in for on this journey?
Well, truth be told, just about everything needs some TLC. Yet, our primary concerns revolve around the water lines, electrical, foundation, and the Kitchen structural situation.
Naturally, the house was constructed in an era without the luxury of running water. So, as time moved forward, water lines were extended from the well to the house. The well is outside not far from the kitchen door, where an old deep freezer serves as an impromptu pump house.
To get the water flowing into the house, we rely on a shallow well pump, which diligently channels it into the bathroom. It’s not the best setup & hopefully, we can upgrade later on down the line.
For as long as I can remember, those slender PVC pipes have clung to the walls, running from the bathroom to the kitchen. 💗
OUR GAME PLAN?
Well, we’re setting our sights on swapping the PVC pipes with sturdy Pex. In the process, we’ll also replace the small hot water heater, and ensure that eventually, all the pipes will be tucked away & hidden from view.
The electrical wiring weaving its way through the house is the antiquated cloth wire, far from the safest option. To even get the electricity turned on, our first task was replacing the old fuse box, the kind with those screw-in fuses. If you’re curious, I’ve put together a YouTube video where I take you on a tour, shedding light on some of the electrical issues.
Our grand plan? We intend to peel back the outer wooden lap siding, gradually replacing the wiring while adding insulation along the way. It’s all about giving this old house a fresh start and making it safer.
SHEW, foundation work is a massive undertaking, one that warrants a post of its own. It’s a formidable task, particularly when you’re dealing with a two-story house that needs lifting.
This farmhouse was built on a stone foundation, and over time, some of those stones have shifted – in some cases, out, and in others, inward. To complicate matters further, almost every seal plate and beam requires replacement. Given that the house doesn’t rest on level ground, each side and section comes with its own unique set of issues. Our aim is to utilize the same stone, preserving the original character to the best of our ability.
Each room presents its unique set of challenges, and I must admit, the Kitchen takes the cake when it comes to needing the most attention and work. It’s quite the project.
From the inside, it doesn’t look that bad, but as they say, “Looks can be deceiving!” Once we started peeling back the layers, the true extent of the destruction became painfully clear.
The walls have shifted, and in one area, the foundation was practically non-existent. The walls weren’t even making contact in one corner, the old stone chimney was solid and sturdy but the walls needed stabilizing around it, and the window above the sink had rotted away, leaving the wall in a sorry state.
We may have to remove the floor to fix the foundation. While we’re at it, with the floor out, we’re planning to replace the old water lines and reconfigure the entire layout, shifting the kitchen sink to the other side of the room.
This room, without a doubt, will be the most extensive part of the project.
In all honesty, no matter where you turn, there’s something in need of replacement or repair. Walls cry out for attention, new electrical must be installed, and ceilings and plaster beg for repair.
If you’re curious about the journey ahead, follow along to witness the transformation.
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